I love my little one. Her curiosity, zeal and zest for life is refreshing. She absolutely loves to learn, is a super amazing artist (seriously, I think we have a prodigy), and has learned how to push the boundaries in the most delicate, thoughtful ways. More often than not, I find myself in situations with her, where after the fact, I’m forced to ask God, “Is that how I am as your child?”
For example- the safety belt. Or seat belt. (Tomato, toe-mah-toe).
My little one enjoys going places (Target is her favorite store), and each trip unfolds some sort of adventure. Of course, since she’s 5, she has to be strapped in to her booster seat before we can travel anywhere. Now, when we first got her booster seat, she was pretty excited about it (I mean, it’s got CUP HOLDERS, y’all?!? I’m excited for her). But after a while, she became pretty annoyed and uncomfortable with the safety belt.
At first, it was just a little thing, trying to position it properly to increase her level of comfort. Then, it changed to slightly moving it over, so it ever-so-slightly rested off of her shoulder. Though this behavior was corrected, it continued and grew, evolving to completely moving the safety belt so that it wasn’t protecting her to the degree at which it was designed. After a more stern conversation, she was back to wearing the safety belt as she was supposed to, without maneuvering and manipulating it.
I have to admit that I was frustrated in this exchange. While I don’t want her to experience discomfort, it is more important that she is safe. And I as dealt with my frustration, the Lord gently nudged me and reminded me of how I am the same way. He reminded me of the times where I’d prefer to ignore/disregard/remove the safety belt He has in place because it’s uncomfortable. How often have I sacrificed my safety because of my discomfort?
While we overcame that challenge, as a parent, I continued to wonder the following: How do Preacherman and I parent in a way so that our children will CHOOSE the safety belt over the discomfort when they are older? How do we parent so that she will choose purity over promiscuity in a culture that promotes the latter more than the former? How do we parent so that she will choose virtue over vulgarity in a world that screams “I can do/say/be who I want and you have to deal with it”?
As an adult, there’s no one there to make sure that I use the safety belt in the car every day. Sure, the car will beep to let me know that it’s not on, but otherwise, there’s not a real consequence unless I get caught (Hey Mr. Officer) or I’m in an accident. I recognize that those consequences are costly, and instead of deal with the consequences, I’d just rather be safe (legally, and in terms of my life) instead of uncomfortable.
Even now, there are some circumstances and situations that God has me strapped in that are uncomfortable. However, I trust that His wisdom, His plans to prosper me and not harm me are greater than the discomfort that I feel. May you also trust that God has you where He wants you, that He has a purpose for you being there, and that despite the discomfort, you are safe.
Be encouraged! Peace and Blessings!